Thursday 6 February 2014

News roundup: A brand new Sengoku Basara stage play - and the final Sengoku Basara 4 live broadcast

I reshuffled my work day today in order to be around for these two special broadcasts. So, in order of importance...

A new Butai Sengoku Basara stage play is announced

Today's special video broadcast announced the next Butai Sengoku Basara stage play project: Butai Sengoku Basara 3: Togakuruwashi Kizuna ('Bonds Wrongly Gone Awry'). I apologise for the inelegant translation of the title; it's obviously meant to refer to the relationship between Mitsunari and Ieyasu which falls apart so catastrophically in Sengoku Basara 3.

The play will run in three cities with 26 shows in total:

Tokyo's EX Theatre Roppongi (25th April - 6th May 2014)
Nagoya's Chuunichi Theatre (10th May - 11th May 2014)
Osaka's Theatre Brava! (15th May - 18th May 2014)

Ticket reservations will open on 8th February. The cast contains an amazing 22 stars:

Hirose Yuusuke (Tokugawa Ieyasu)
Nakamura Seijirou (Ishida Mitsunari)
Takigawa Eiji (Date Masamune)
Yoshioka Yuu (Sanada Yukimura)
Matsumura Ryuunosuke (Sanada Yukimura)
Yoshida Tomokazu (Katakura Kojuurou)
Murata Youjirou (Sarutobi Sasuke)
Yagami Ren (Chousokabe Motochika)
Kotani Yoshikazu (Mouri Motonari)
Yokoyama Masafumi (Kuroda Kanbee)
Taniguchi Masashi (Tenkai)
Miyashita Yuuya (Kobayakawa Hideaki)
Takahashi Hikaru (Fuuma Kotarou)
Nitta Kenta (Ootani Yoshitsugu)
Yashiro Minase (Saika Magoichi)
Kawamura Yukie (Tsuruhime)
Kaneda Shinichi (Miyoshi Sanninshuu: eldest brother)
Endou Makoto (Miyoshi Sanninshuu: second brother)
Shirasaki Seiya (Miyoshi Sanninshuu: third brother)
Isaka Tatsuya (Maeda Keiji)
Masao (Maeda Toshiie)
Beppu Ayumi (Matsu)

Two different Yukimuras have been cast to cover the performances in different regions. This will be Matsumura's first time in the role; I hope the eventual DVD release includes footage of both as it will be very interesting to compare him to Yoshioka. The other newcomers are Yokoyama Masafumi (Kanbee) and Yagami Ren (Motochika) - he'll be the third person to play Motochika in the series to date.

Most of all, I'm very excited to see Keiji is returning to the play series; Isaka's performance was amazing back in Butai Sengoku Basara 2.

You can watch the full video with Hirose Yuusuke (Tokugawa Ieyasu), Nakamura Seijirou (Ishida Mitsunari), stage play maestro Nishida Daisuke and Kobayashi 'KobaP' Hiroyuki on the Dais YouTube channel or below.

Notes on the final Sengoku Basara 4 Nico Nico live broadcast

Shortly before the broadcast began it was announced that series director YamamotoD and producer KobaP would be joining in as special guests today, and they joined hosts Kanada Satoshi and Nakada Kurumi in the studio right at the beginning.

After the hosts all watched and commentated on the game's opening video together, seiyuu guest Nakamura Yuuichi (Shima Sakon) arrived to perform some lines in character and demonstrate the game.

Since Nakamura had been too ill to appear at Basara Matsuri back in January, this was my first time seeing him playing Sakon. His gameplay demonstration on the Shizugatake: Advance of the Oda Vanguard stage, soon showed that Nakamura wasn't all that great at the game as he blundered around into the enemy forces. Still, he tried his best.

Dogma Kazami and Aoki Shiki (Maou) took over once Nakamura was done. Both KobaP and YamamotoD joined them for the challenge session. This time their goal was 'really easy' according to KobaP: win within 15 minutes on the Hard difficulty, and with a 1,000 hit combo.

I was immediately confused when Maou agreed to play as Katsuie for the first time then chose him with the Nagamasa DLC costume, which I'd temporarily forgotten existed (despite having translated news about it a bunch of times). Finally noticing that he wasn't, in fact, Nagamasa, I settled down to watch Maou's attempt at Kenshin's Kawanakajima stage with Oichi as her tag partner. She had a better idea of what was going on than Nakamura had so she managed to clear KobaP's challenge without any major problems. It was quite funny towards the end; Matabee caused a panic by suddenly interrupted the boss fight when she was planning her grand finish.

The second half of the challenge required Dogma Kazami playing as Ieyasu and Tadakatsu on the Kaga Onsen stage. He almost failed during the first boss fight when Tsuruhime defeated Ieyasu and despite recovering, he timed out right at the end of the final battle. He was told to apologise and perform a formal bow.

Back to the main studio, KobaP and YamamotoD summarised the latest Sengoku Basara news and then Kanada announced the final keyword for the golden skull competition - which revealed that today was actually his birthday. Aww...

A final video with KobaP coaching the Basara-bu Otomegumi girls closed the show.

Some trivia from the Sengoku Basara 4 Bushou Hiden No Sho book

Sengoku Basara 4 Bushou Hiden No Sho was one of the two books which came inside the Hyakka Ryouran Tamatebako version of the game. It's a lovely hardback full of character information and design illustrations; the limited edition was well worth the extra cost for this alone.

I'm not going to translate the entire thing but I think it might be interesting to pick out the parts which explain some of the design decisions. Character designer Ookubo Tooru made plenty of notes on his influences when designing the alternate outfits and new characters, which might be important to fans who weren't able to pick up a copy of the book.
  • The status ranking in the Toyotomi army goes Hideyoshi/Hanbee >> Mitsunari/Yoshitsugi >>> Kanbee > Sakon.
  • Oyassan is actually female, but Shikanosuke doesn't realise and calls her this anyway (Oyassan is a way of addressing a middle-aged man in Japanese). She finds it a little annoying.
  • Matabee was designed to appear to be 'around 30' years old.
  • The inspirations behind Mitsunari's alternate outfit were visual kei, vampires and silver wolves.
  • Ieyasu's alternate costume was conceived after this chain of thoughts: the sun → full of energy → rice → planting rice.
  • Tadakatsu's alternate outfit is based on gogatsu ningyou, the traditional dolls displayed on Tango No Sekku (Children's Day).
  • Ookubo thought about putting a word or phrase on the back of Yukimura's outfit, but he wanted to avoid using a single kanji character as it would be too similar to Yoshihiro's concept. Some of the ideas he had were 'Sanada Yukimura', 'Great Victory', 'Daily Hard Work', 'Hot-Blooded Fool' and a custom-made four-character slogan (何是滾流, pronounced as 'what's this boiling?!'). The clothing is white to represent incandescence.
  • Hideaki's costume is themed like a traditional haniwa terracotta figure, like NHK's classic character in O~i! Hanimaru-kun.
  • Tenkai's alternate costume is based on a karasu tengu.
  • Muneshige's is, of course, the outfit of a namahage demon. Ookubo thought about incorporating a bucket in his left hand.
  • The inspiration behind Nagamasa's outfit is the legend of Momotarou.
  • Oichi's costume is inspired by tennyo (heavenly maidens) and mermaids.
  • Some are much simpler for western audiences to identify: Motonari's costume really is based on Halloween, Magoichi's theme is the Wild West and Tsuruhime's is a 'ranger girl'.
  • The pattern on Hisahide's clothing incorporates red spider lilies and Japanese fireworks to give an image of sparks flying.
  • Yoshihiro is supposed to resemble an old guy from a sake shop. He's even wearing the shop's apron.
The book also includes a set of very important pictures of Gotou Matabee without his helmet, proving that he has a proper sakayaki hairstyle. I'd been hoping for this ever since it was confirmed he had a chonmage samurai topknot; fan artists had been split on the matter but now there's evidence he really should have a shaved head. Hurrah.

An interview with both series director Yamamoto Makoto and character designer Ookubu Tooru had a few additional tidbits of information:
  • Yamamoto decided to try Ookubo Tooru's designs this time as one of the themes of Sengoku Basara 4 was to 'rush into a new chapter'. He wanted to breathe some fresh air into the series. He remembered working with Ookubo on the anime series and thought he would see if he was willing to take up on challenge.
  • Ookubo's knew that it would indeed be a challenge; when he did the designs for the anime he was basing his work on the existing visuals from the game series (the original designs were created by Tsuchibayashi Makoto). He originally thought that he was just going to create some background characters, so it was a big surprise to hear that Yamamoto meant the new leads.
  • Ookubo was anxious but decided to give it a try. He said that relied heavily on Yamamoto's guidance as they worked on the new designs together.
  • The characters began as simple lists of their key features which Ookubo turned into rough concept sketches. They would then refine the designs together over a long period.
  • Matabee was originally going to be like a skinny, bespectacled mad scientist. He was changed to have a bent spine when the 'dinosaur' idea was introduced. Both men laughed about how they added a guy with a traditional haircut for the first time even though he doesn't remove his helmet in the game.
The interview with the manga creators from CLAMP is quite funny too, however, I'm sure it will have been translated by the many CLAMP fans out there so I haven't touched it myself. I've seen that a lot of people have already been sharing the special illustrations they produced online so the information must be out there.


  1. Dear Raindrops and Daydreams,

    I just want to say thank you for writing the Sengoku Basara blog. You always keep track all the Sengoku Basara news in Japan and write them in your blog. Moreover, I think you always update the Sengoku Basara news very fast when there is new news. I really enjoy reading your posts. Again, Thank you letting us know all information about Sengoku Basara!



    1. Thank you very much for the kind message! It made me smile :)

      I'm glad that other fans enjoy following the news too. Even though we're spread across the world, we all love the Sengoku Basara series!

    2. Dear Raindrops and Daydreams,

      Yeah, I am happy that there are fans so dedicated to the series like you.

      By the way I am interested in buying one of the key chains in this picture:

      It is the Mame Sengoku Basara square keychain with the picture Katsuie on it (third keychain from the left). Do you know where I can buy this online?

      Also the Mame Sengoku Basara with the picture Katsuie and Sakon on it (first and second keychain from the right) has the game styled picture underneath it. Is the Mame and the game styled chain one set or do you have to buy separately?

      Thank you.



    3. Hello again! I think the Katsuie keychain is fan-made. She posted some in-progress pictures just before a big doujinshi event showing the construction (you can buy those kits to customise your own keychains/pens/badges in Japanese anime merchandise stores):

      The two keychains on the right seem to be made by attaching two pairs of badges to the top of the animal mascots. The game-styled badges are these ones and the Mame-style ones are exclusive extras with this magazine.

      I hope that helped!

    4. Dear Raindrops and Daydreams,

      Thank you for the explanation. That really helps!




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